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Unformatted text preview: What then of the opposition to acccommodationists and the pro-establish- mentarians? First, it must be emphasized that the Muslim world never lacked individuals with the courage and the conviction to resist alien domi- nation by force of arms. Abd al-Qadirs sustained and heroic resistance to the French in Algeria ( 1832 1847 ), the Mujahidin movement in Muslim India led by Sayyid Ahmad Brelvi and Shah Ismail Shahid in the 1830 s, the Indian Mutiny of 1857 1858 , 1 the rising of the Sudanese Mahdi and the creation of the Mahdist state ( 1881 1898 ), the Urabi Pasha revolt in Egypt ( 1879 1882 ), the two nineteenth-century British-Afghan wars and early twentieth-century resistance to imperial pressures by the Somali leader Muhammad Abdullah Hasan (dubbed the mad mullah by the British) are only the more important or better-known examples. Others, great and small, could be cited. Even established governments, although obliged by bitter experience to accept that diplomacy might gain more (or lose less) than war, never com- pletely abandoned the military option. This was shown in the Ottoman actions leading to and during the Crimean War and the Eastern Crisis of the 1870 s ending in war against Russia. On balance, however, the military options could not change the strategic configuration based on Europes overwhelming military and technological dominance. That many of the sustained and, for a time, successful military actions against Western imperialism took place in remote hinterland areas less inviting to Western economic interests and more conducive to guerrilla tactics puts limits on their significance in the larger tableau of developments. 10. The Early Antiestablishment Response to the Western Challenge All of the examples of outright armed resistance to European domination were undergirded by a strong Muslim religious message, and in most cases one or more individuals from the ranks of the ulama or the Sufi brotherhood leadership can be pinpointed. A striking example was the early nineteenth- century fatwa of one Shah Abdul Aziz ruling that India under British rule was Dar al-Harb . Accordingly, Muslims must either drive the British out (jihad) or emigrate to Muslim territory (hijra). This call was picked up by Sayyid Ahmad Brelvi and Shah Ismail Shahid, whose movement bore the significant name of Mujahidin. What then about the role of the Muslim clergy in other forms of resist- ance to the Westernizers and the accommodationists? One general theme to be noted is that even the more politically quietist ulama began to perceive the threat to their interests as the Westernizers made serious inroads into their virtual monopoly over formal education. The ulama response tended to take the form of holding out for the autonomy of their own educational institutions even if they could not stem the tide of new, essentially Westernizing, schools growing up around them. The Westernizers, in turn, often found it expedient to found new institutions circumventing thereby...
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This note was uploaded on 07/12/2008 for the course MC 441 taught by Professor Ayoob during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.
- Spring '08